Business Owners Share Their Best Recession Tips for 2023

The looming recession of 2023 has businesses spooked, but these experts have some advice for surviving the worst of it.
Let's be honest, 2022 has not been a fun year for tech companies. Between the massive layoffs that have hit virtually every business in the country and the rising rate of inflation, it's safe to assume that economic conditions are likely contributing to the sleepless nights of employees and employers alike.

Even worse, experts have noted that 2023 isn't going to be much better. The looming recession is poised to put pressure on businesses of all shapes and sizes, which could mean more layoffs and even shuttered businesses if you can't find a way to make ends meet.

A recession isn't a death rattle for all businesses, though. With the right strategy, you can fend off a recession, and we've tapped a wide range of business experts, entrepreneurs, and founders to provide you with some advice on how to survive the upcoming recession in 2023.

Take Care of Your Money

The first thing many business owners think about when a recession hits is money, which is a good idea. In all likelihood, profits are going to be lower and costs are going to be higher, so keeping track of your funds in a more comprehensive and detailed way can make a big difference for getting through the toughest of times.

“Take care of your cash flow: you need to have money in your hands, and you need to know where it goes, where it comes from, and how often it comes and goes.” – Garrett Yamasaki, founder of WeLoveDoodles

That doesn't necessarily mean you should be cutting across the board, though. If you want to make it through a recession, you need to make money on top of keeping costs low, ensuring that your cash reserves aren't depleted before the economy can rebound. Subsequently, you need to find ways to invest in areas of your business that make money.

“The more you can invest in your marketing, in your customer service, and in your employees, the better off your business will be once the economy starts to recover. When you play it safe, your business falls off and you just might not recover from it. So, keep going. Every single day. Like the economy isn't in shambles. Your business depends on it.” – Amy Weiher, founder and creative director at Weiher Creative

Your best bet is to make a plan and stick with it. Take stock of your finances, find areas that can be profitable, and invest. Likewise, there are likely some areas of your business that don't directly contribute to your revenue stream that can be tabled until the recession is in the rear-view mirror. Simply put, it's all about planning.

“Use the data and build a 90-day budget. You should have a clear understanding of what items have high cost and don’t directly drive revenue, in addition to which channels perform better than others.” – Sara Hanlon, partner and cofounder of Peer Sales Agency

Focus on Priorities

Money is always at the forefront of the mind during a recession. However, if you want to make it through these tough times, you're going to need to keep in mind that money isn't the only thing that keeps your business running. In fact, there's another, arguably more important asset that drives your business to succeed more than anything else: people.

“The most important thing for you to do first is to concentrate on your customers, as they are the lifeblood of your company. You must understand your customers' needs and interests in order to provide them with the best possible customer experience.” – Neil Anders, vice president of Rockstar Lifestyles

That's right, your customers are key to your success, but they aren't the only people that make sure your business functions properly on a day-to-day basis. Your employees will also need some attention, particularly given that a recession is likely taking an even heavier toll on them than on your business.

“If your employees are feeling stressed and anxious about the future, they won't be able to do their best work. Make sure to provide them with fair treatment and reasonable expectations and make plans to keep them informed about the company's progress throughout the recession.” – Jeroen Van Gils, CEO of EcoLife

Ask for Help

Recessions put a serious strain on economy, but the government is designed to help in these kinds of situations. If you don't think you'll make it through the worst it, you should absolutely investigate some government assistance programs that can give you a little help when the cards are down.

“Many government programs provide assistance to small businesses during recessions; staying informed about these relief efforts can help business owners access financial aid when needed.” – Rajesh Namase, cofounder of TechRT

Those that consider asking for help as weak are rarely in a good position when hard times come along. The government can obviously provide assistance, but if you really want to ensure your business can make it through the recession, you'll want to branch out and ask from help whoever is in your corner.

“Lean on your network. Reach out to your professional network and ask for help. This could include asking a mentor or colleague for advice or even getting a loan or grant from a local government program. Knowing that you have people in your corner can give you the confidence and resources you need to move forward.” – Caitlyn Parish, founder and CEO of Cicinia

Get Creative

It's easy to maintain the status quo when times are good. Unfortunately, during recessions, doing the same stuff that always worked won't pay off, as the times they are a-changing. The key to surviving a recession is to get a bit creative with how your business operates.

“In a recession, it's vital to innovate and adapt. Find creative solutions to keep your business fresh and up to date. Challenging times often require flexibility.” – Gareth Parkin, the founder of GoPromotional

Don't just be creative for the sake of creativity, though. Branching out from your standard operations requires specific planning and concrete strategy to ensure that you aren't going too far out on a limb. But if you can get creative and prepare effectively, the sky is truly the limit.

“Though surviving a recession can be daunting to a small business owner, with preparation and creative solutions there is no limit to its potential growth.” – Oberon Copeland, owner and CEO of Veryinformed.com

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Written by:

Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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